D127 assesses school schedules

A committee consisting of administration and teachers from both Central and North are reviewing the effectiveness of the current school schedules. The committee has gathered feedback from students and conducted research regarding start and end times.

They are evaluating the current schedule and whether it allows for students to properly engage in learning. This means analyzing the bell schedule and start times.

“The overall goal of this committee is to see if our current schedule is still meeting our students’ social, emotional, and academic needs,” family and consumer science teacher Courtney Plaza said. “We are seeing if students are getting enough sleep, enough time for after school rest and to have a life outside of school.”

Central has a different start time than North, but it’s the same eight period and 50 minute classes every day. These come with pros and cons for both teachers and students.

“I find that consistency is helpful to me as a student because I’m able to see my teachers every day, and I can always ask them questions during class,” senior Kelli Tosic said. “What’s hard is that sometimes 50 minutes isn’t a lot of time to fit a whole lesson.”

Not only do students find trouble with the schedule, teachers are required to teach five classes each and every day and prepare lessons for the entire week.

“I love being able to see my students’ faces every day. With late starts, we only have 40 minutes, and sometimes it feels rushed. I don’t want my lessons to feel rushed or anxious; that’s not the goal,” Plaza said.

Assistant superintendent of curriculum and innovation Tracey Landry, leader of the committee, hopes that looking at a new schedule will allow students to find academic intervention and increase positive performance.

“We’ve been evaluating whether our students are engaging in real learning in 50 minutes. We had a session in both schools where we received student feedback on what they like and what they don’t like,” Landry said. “Do students have enough time to see their teachers for extra support, or their counselor, or to even take a breath?”

Senior Jesse Hertzke was involved in one of the feedback sessions. He had taken a poll from students of various identities, academic and athletic involvement to see their opinion on whether they would like to see a change in start times.

“Out of 50 students, 42 answered. Thirty-seven students said they would like to see a later start time even with an impact of ending later. Five students said no; however, three would change to yes if the ending time wouldn’t be affected. Ninety-six percent of students said they would like to see a change,” Hertzke said.

Landry has an agenda set for the committee’s plan of action. She wants to make the best informed decision for deciding whether the schedule is catering to students’ needs.

“Our members have gone to other schools on site visits to see the general feedback on their schedules. We’re hoping to have members shadow a student and see their experience through the day. Once we meet as a whole committee in February, we’ll debrief what we’ve gathered,” Landry said.